SEVAA: SERVICE

(As) The elephant offers his head to the goad and as the anvil offers itself to the hammer.
So, Offer your mind (false ego-sense) and body (to Satgur...); and do "Oobhee Sev".
By becoming a Gurmukh, this is how one eliminates his self-conceit,
and come to rule the whole universe. (sggs 647-48).
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The fundamental tenets in all of the world religions are essentially the same. For example, they all seem to be Love or service-oriented: Seva (pronounced Sevaa). Apparently, they all were motivated by a Higher desire to serve Higher Being and mankind. Therefore, the scriptures remind us that the aim of human life is to serve and love; without which this rare human birth will be wasted uselessly.

  • ਵਿਚਿ ਦੁਨੀਆ ਸੇਵ ਕਮਾਈਐ ॥ ਤਾ ਦਰਗਹਿ ਬੈਸਣੁ ਪਾਈਐ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਬਾਹ ਲੁਡਾਈਐੈ ॥: Vichi duneeaa sev kamaaeeai.Taa dargahi baisan paaeeai: In the midst of this world, do selfless service (Sevaa), and you will attain the experience of Divine Realm. Then, says Nanak, you will become free from all worries (sggs 26).
  • ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਕਦੇ ਨ ਕੀਨੀ ਬਿਰਥਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ॥: Gur kee sevaa kudae na keenee birthhaa janam guvaaeiaa: Man never serves God; he wastes his life uselessly (sggs 1130).
But, the question is: what is Sevaa? Who to serve? Who is most fit to be served? Since Waheguru, the Divine Principle, is without form, how can one serve Him? How can one go about serving mankind? In this context, with the help of the Divine Guide of the Gurbani (SGGS), this Reflection will attempt to reflect on the followings:
  • Sevaa: What is it?
  • External Sevaa
  • "Oobhee" Sevaa: Internal or Formless Sevaa
Sevaa: What Is It?

Simply put: Sevaa means that our thoughts, words, and our actions (Mann, Bachans, and Karma) are accompanied by the selfless love and compassion.

Spiritual longing of a spiritual seeker expresses through many manifestations such as singing God's glories, fixing his mind upon Him with deep Love and faith, Jap (repeating God's Name), rendering continuos service to others, etc. Hence the principles of a Divine Life are Sevaa and meditation (Simran) in Love and Truth. Therefore, Sevaa is an integral part of a Spiritual Path, where the seeker strives to serve with a smile without any thought of reward, recognition or personal gain of any sort.

  • ਆਪੁ ਗਵਾਇ ਸੇਵਾ ਕਰੇ ਤਾ ਕਿਛੁ ਪਾਏ ਮਾਨ ॥: Aap guvaae sevaa kurae thaa kishh paaeae maan: But if he eliminates his self-conceit and then performs service, he will be honored (sggs 474).
Why serve and love God and His creation? The Self can be seen or realized only when the unripe ego (Haume) is destroyed. Sincere and selfless work (Nishakaam Sevaa) performed in Love and Truth is said to be the most potent weapon to thin out this false ego. Accordingly, the scriptures and the Enlightened Beings urge seekers to seek out opportunities to Sevaa.
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਸੇਵਾ ਕਿਨੈ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ਦੂਜੈ ਭਰਮਿ ਖੁਆਈ ॥: Bin sevaa kinai n paaeiaa dhoojai bharam khuaaee: Without serving God, no one finds Him; in duality and doubt, they are ruined (sggs 1011).
The three means by which one can serve are: mind (Mann), speech (Bachan) and actions (Karma). Without sincere Sevaa, the scriptures call Jeeva (an individual being) to be stone-heartedly selfish, greedy, bonded to Maya, attached to evil passions, mammon-worshipper, fool, an ignorant being who serves only duality, and so on.
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸੇਵੇ ਘੋਰ ਅੰਧਾਰਾ ॥: Bin satgur sevae ghor andhaaraa: Without serving the True Guru, there is only pitch-black darkness of ignorance (sggs 1054).
  • ਏਨੈ ਚਿਤਿ ਕਠੋਰਿ ਸੇਵ ਗਵਾਈਐ ॥: Enai chit kuthor sev guvaaeeai: Being so stone-hearted, one looses his chance to serve God (sggs 146).
Thus, Sevaa does not mean mindlessly or superstitiously attending religious places, building temples, cooking or offering food in the temple, sweeping marble floors there, dusting shoes of attendees, offering flower garlands and fancy garments (Rumaalaas, etc.), mechanical reading of scriptures (ritual Paath Poojaa), attaining recognition to look good in the community, singing Kirtan or preaching for making money, etc. The true Sevaa is Dharma performed consciously. To put it otherwise: the real Sevaa is Goodness in thought, word and deed.

Whether we know it or not, all of us are always engaged in serving something! The mode of one's Sevaa, however, depends on the mode of one's Spiritual understanding. Thus, depending on our Spiritual level, our Sevaa takes many forms and shapes. All types of Sevaa can be lumped in two categories: External Sevaa and Internal Sevaa.

  • ਅਨਿਕ ਭਾਂਤਿ ਕਰਿ ਸੇਵਾ ਕਰੀਐ ॥ ਜੀਉ ਪ੍ਰਾਨ ਧਨੁ ਆਗੈ ਧਰੀਐ ॥: Anik bhaanti kari sevaa kareeai. Jeeyu praan dhannu aagai dhreeai: Sevaa is of many types, and performed different ways. Serve God dedicating your Soul, your breath of life and your wealth (sggs 391).
  • Man has three states. In the first state he does not focus on God, instead he adores and serves anyone and anything woman, man, wealth, children, stones, land. Next, when he acquires a certain knowledge and awareness, he does not serve other than God. Finally, when he progresses in this state, he falls silent: he says neither, "I do not serve God," nor, "I do serve God" - that is, he leaves both states (Sufi Rumi).
External Sevaa

Human life in the world is of two types. The first which the majority lead is materialistic or selfish wherein only the pursuit of worldly comforts and sense-pleasure is the sole motive. While the other is a God-centered life wherein all actions are oriented to realizing the real Self within. A person in God-centered life is said to be a true devotee and whatever he gets in life is accepted by him as the Divine Grace.

Based on these two types of human life, external Sevaa can be divided into two categories: (a) selfish external Sevaa, and (b) unselfish or Nishakaam external Sevaa. In simple terms, selfish Sevaa results from selfish lifestyle of noncommitment and unexamined egocentricities or ignorance. On the other hand, unselfish Sevaa results from Goodness.

Devoid of Love and Truth, selfish Sevaa is performed by those who follow the path of worldly desires and fear. To say it in other way, they want something of the sense-world in exchange for their Sevaa. The scriptures thunder that Love and Truth cannot grow out of such mundane bargaining.

  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਸੇਵਾ ਜੋ ਕਰੇ ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ਚਿਤੁ ਲਾਇ ॥ ਪੁਤੁ ਕਲਤੁ ਕੁਟੰਬੁ ਹੈ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹੁ ਵਧਾਇ ॥: Manmukh sevaa jo karae doojai bhaai chit laai. Putt kalat kattamb hai Maya mohu vadhaai: The Manmukh may perform service (ਸੇਵਾ), (but while doing so, he) keeps his consciousness attached to the love of duality (not One God). Through Maya, his attachment to children, spouse and relatives increases (sggs 1422).
  • ਪਲਚਿ ਪਲਚਿ ਸਗਲੀ ਮੁਈ ਝੂਠੈ ਧੰਧੈ ਮੋਹੁ ॥: Palachi palachi sagalee muee jhoothai dhundhhai mohu: Entangled and enmeshed in the love of false occupations, the whole world is perishing (sggs 133).
Why do we think there is so much religious, political and social corruption in the world? Because, in utter selfishness, the majority of us serve only our material desires and fear. We use our mind, body and wealth for selfish and unworthy purpose. In other words, our so called Sevaa to God or mankind is self-centered. AnySevaa done in selfishness, therefore, is said to be the act of small mindedness (ego personified individuality); which is an indication of one's bondage to ignorance, false ego or duality (Doojaa Bhaav).
  • ਦੂਜਾ ਸੇਵਨਿ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਸੇ ਪਚਿ ਪਚਿ ਮੁਏ ਅਜਾਣ ॥: doojaa sevan Naanakaa sae pachi pachi mueae ajaan: Those ignorant ones who serve duality, O Nanak, rot, waste away and die (sggs 315).
  • ਮਤਿ ਥੋੜੀ ਸੇਵ ਗਵਾਈਐ ॥: Mati thorhee sev gavaaeeai: Through small-mindedness, we forfeit the merits of service (sggs 468).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵ ਨ ਕੀਤੀਆ ਸਬਦਿ ਨ ਲਗੋ ਭਾਉ ॥ ਹਉਮੈ ਰੋਗੁ ਕਮਾਵਣਾ ਅਤਿ ਦੀਰਘੁ ਬਹੁ ਸੁਆਉ ॥ : Satgur kee sev na keeteeyaa sabad na laggo bhaayu. Haumai rog kamaavanaa ati deeragh bahu suyaayu: One who does not serve the True Guru, and who does not love the Shabad, earns the very painful disease of egotism; he is so very selfish (sggs 850).
Scriptures tell us selfishness is the source of all evil and suffering in the world. To be selfish is to serve Maya, and to serve Maya is to pass life in self-conceit. Thus, selfishness is nothing but a perverted son of the spiritually blind ego-mind. Under the spell of this ignoble or demon-mind quality, one is concerned excessively or exclusively with himself, seeking or concentrating on one's own selfish ideas and agenda. It is the selfish, misguided man who does not give anything, but tries to misappropriate everything from the world for his own sense-gratification. In such inner darkness, man serves others to fulfill his material desires. For the sake of never-lasting pleasures, he thus becomes slave of worldly objects and creates hell for himself and for others to suffer and struggle.
  • ਚੇਰੀ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਕਰਹਿ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਨਹੀ ਦੀਸ ॥: Cheree kee sevaa kurahi thaakur nahee deesai: He serves the maid (Maya), and does not see his Lord (sggs 229).
  • ਵਜਹੁ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਕਾ ਸੇਵ ਬਿਰਾਨੀ ॥: Vajahu saahib kaa sev biraanee: He takes his wages from his Lord, but he serves another (sggs 376).
  • ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਛੋਡਿ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਲੋਭਾਣੇ ਸੇਵਾ ਕਰਹਿ ਵਿਡਾਣੀ ॥: Anmrit shoddbikhiaa lobhaane sevaa karahi vidaanee: Discarding the Nectar (Divine Name), they selfishly grab the poison (worldliness); thus serve the poison (sggs 31).
  • ਸੁਖ ਕੈ ਹੇਤਿ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਵਤ ਸੇਵ ਕਰਤ ਜਨ ਜਨ ਕੀ ॥ ਦੁਆਰਹਿ ਦੁਆਰਿ ਸੁਆਨ ਜਿਉ ਡੋਲਤ ਨਹ ਸੁਧ ਰਾਮ ਭਜਨ ਕੀ ॥੧॥: Sukh kai heti bahutu dukhu paavat sev karat jan jan kee. Duaarahi duaari suaan jiou dolat nah sudh Raam bhajan kee ||1||: For the sake of pleasure, (one) attend to (serve - ਖੁਛਾਮਦ ਕਰਦਾ ਫਿਰਦਾ ਹੈ, etc.) each and every person, (as such, instead of Sukh), he suffers (Dukh). (He) wanders from door to door like a dog, unconscious of the Lord's meditation ||1|| (sggs 411).
  • ਧਰਣੀਧਰੁ ਤਿਆਗਿ ਨੀਚ ਕੁਲ ਸੇਵਹਿ ਹਉ ਹਉ ਕਰਤ ਬਿਹਾਵਥ ॥: Dharneedhar tiaag neech kul sevahi hayu hayu karat bihaavath: Abandoning God, you serve her of lowly ancestry (Maya), and you pass you life acting egotistically (sggs 1001).
  • ਕਾਹੂ ਬਿਹਾਵੈ ਸੇਵਾ ਜਰੂਰਤਿ ॥: Kaahoo bihaavai sevaa jaroorat: Some pass their lives serving others for wants (sggs 914).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਨ ਸੇਵਹਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਲਾਗੇ ਡੂਬਿ ਮੂਏ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੀ ॥: Satgur na sevahi maya laage doob mooeae ahankaaree: Those who do not serve the True Guru, and who are attached to Maya, are drowned; they die in their own egotism (sggs 911).
Depending upon one's emotional feelings and motives, one's selfish Sevaa can take many forms such as serving body, serving mind (worship, reading of scriptures, prayers, Karamkaand, etc.), serving animalistic instincts, serving family members and relatives or friends in emotional attachment (Moh), serving fear, serving desires and cravings, serving images or idols, serving demigods, serving doubts, serving lust and greed, serving pride, serving jealousy, serving sense-slavery, serving special days or months (fasting, rituals, etc.), serving cults, serving customs and rituals, serving religious rituals (pilgrimage, bathing at shrines, giving alms, Paath-Poojaa, etc.), serving occult powers, and so on.
  • ਕਿਸੁ ਹਉ ਸੇਵੀ ਕਿਸੁ ਆਰਾਧੀ ਜੋ ਦਿਸਟੈ ਸੋ ਗਾਛੈ ॥: Kis hayu sevee kis aaraadhee jo disatai so gaashai: Whom should I serve? Whom should I worship in adoration? Whoever I see will pass away (sggs 533).
  • ਥਿਤੀ ਵਾਰ ਸੇਵਹਿ ਮੁਗਧ ਗਵਾਰ ॥: Thitee vaar sevahi mugudh gavaar: Only idiots and fools worry about these omens and days (sggs 843).
  • ਸੇਵਾ ਥੋਰੀ ਮਾਗਨੁ ਬਹੁਤਾ ॥: Sevaa thoree maagun bahutaa: (The fool's) service (Sevaa) is insignificant, but (in return for this insignificant Sevaa) his material demands are a lot (sggs 738).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸੇਵੇ ਜੀਅ ਕੇ ਬੰਧਨਾ ਵਿਚਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਹਿ ॥: Bin satgur seve jeea kae bandhanaa vich houmai karam kamaahi: Without serving the True Guru, the Soul is in the bondage of deeds done in ego (sggs 589).
  • ਹਰਿ ਕੀ ਤੁਮ ਸੇਵਾ ਕਰਹੁ ਦੂਜੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਕਰਹੁ ਨ ਕੋਇ ਜੀ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਤੇ ਮਨਹੁ ਚਿੰਦਿਆ ਫਲੁ ਪਾਈਐ ਦੂਜੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਬਿਰਥਾ ਜਾਇ ਜੀ ॥੧॥: Har kee tum sevaa karahu doojee sevaa karahu n koi jee. Har ki sevaa te manahu chindiaa phal paaeeai doojee sevaa janam birathaa jaai jee ||1||: Serve God; do not serve anyone else. Serving Him, you will obtain the fruits of your heart’s desires; serving another, your life will pass away in vain ||1|| (sggs 490).
  • ਲੋਭ ਮੋਹ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਮਤਾ ਫੁਨਿ ਅਉ ਬਿਖਿਅਨ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ॥ ਹਰਖ ਸੋਗ ਪਰਸੈ ਜਿਹ ਨਾਹਨਿ ਸੋ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਹੈ ਦੇਵਾ ॥: Lobh moh Maya mamataa fun ayu bikhian kee sevaa. Harakh sog parasai jih naahan so moorati hai devaa: Greed, emotional attachment to Maya, possessiveness, the service of evil, pleasure and pain - those who are not touched by these, are the very embodiment of the Divine God (sggs 220).
  • ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਛੂਟਨੁ ਨਹੀ ਮਨ ਬਉਰਾ ਰੇ ਛੂਟਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਕੀ ਸੇਵ ॥: Kahu Kabeer shhootanu nahee mann bouraa rae shhootanu hari kee sev: Says Kabeer, you will not be saved like this, O crazy mind; only by serving God will you find release (sggs 336).
Thus, most of our Sevaa is aimed at serving none other than Maya (illusion). Consequently, the religion or Dharma has been reduced to a mundane business. More the material desires, more the religious corruption (Dhaarmic Soude-Baajee)! After reading few religious texts, many become Parchaarak (Preachers), Paathee (professional readers of scriptures), Raagees (professional devotional singers), Bhais, priests, and so on. In the disguise of Dhaarmic Sevaa, they make money in the pretext of religion. This is nothing but all "Koorh-Kriya" - false practices in ego!
  • ਵਿਚਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਸੇਵਾ ਥਾਇ ਨ ਪਾਏ ॥ ਜਨਮਿ ਮਰੈ ਫਿਰਿ ਆਵੈ ਜਾਏ ॥: Vich houmai sevaa thai n paae. Janam marai fir aavai jaae One who serves in egotism is not accepted or approved. Such a person is born, only to die again, and come and go in reincarnation (sggs 1071).
  • ਰੇ ਮਨ ਟਹਲ ਹਰਿ ਸੁਖ ਸਾਰ ॥ ਅਵਰ ਟਹਲਾ ਝੂਠੀਆ ਨਿਤ ਕਰੈ ਜਮੁ ਸਿਰਿ ਮਾਰ ॥: Re mann tahal hari sukh saar. Avar tahalaa jhootheeaa nit karai jamu siri maar: O mind, true peace comes from serving God. Other services are false, and we are punishment for them by the Messenger of Death, the Law of Karma (sggs 986).
  • ਅਬੇ ਤਬੇ ਕੀ ਚਾਕਰੀ ਕਿਉ ਦਰਗਹ ਪਾਵੈ ॥: Abe tabe kee chaakaree kiou daragah paavai: Serving this and that person, how can one obtain the Divine Realm? (sggs 420).
  • ਕਰਮ ਧਰਮ ਪਾਖੰਡ ਜੋ ਦੀਸਹਿ ਤਿਨ ਜਮੁ ਜਾਗਾਤੀ ਲੂਟੈ ॥: Karam Dharam paakhand jo deesai tin Yam jaagaatee lootai: The religious rites, rituals and hypocrisies which are seen, are plundered by the Messenger of Death, the ultimate tax collector (sggs 747).
  • ਦੂਜੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਜੀਵਨੁ ਬਿਰਥਾ ॥ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਹੋਈ ਹੈ ਪੂਰਨ ਅਰਥਾ ॥: Doojee sevaa jeevan birathaa. Kashoo n hoee hai pooran arathaa: Life is wasted uselessly in the service of duality. No efforts will be rewarded, and no works brought to fruition (sggs 1182).
  • ਮੂਰਖ ਅੰਧੇ ਤ੍ਰੈ ਗੁਣ ਸੇਵਹਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਕੈ ਬਿਉਹਾਰੀ ॥ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਕਪਟੁ ਉਦਰੁ ਭਰਣ ਕੈ ਤਾਈ ਪਾਠ ਪੜਹਿ ਗਾਵਾਰੀ ॥: Moorakh andhe trai gun sevahi Maya kai biouhaaree. Andari kapatu oudaru bharan kai taaee paath parrahi gaavaaree (sggs 1246).
  • ਜੋ ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ਸਾਕਤ ਕਾਮਨਾ ਅਰਥਿ ਦੁਰਗੰਧ ਸਰੇਵਦੇ ਸੋ ਨਿਹਫਲ ਸਭੁ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ॥੨॥: Jo doojai bhaai saakat kaamanaa arath duragandh sarevade so nihafal sabh agiaan ||2||: The faithless cynics (Maya stricken - ਮਾਇਆ-ਵੇੜ੍ਹੇ) in their love of duality (or Maya) and sensual desires, harbor foul-smelling urges (ਵਿਕਾਰਾਂ ਵਿਚ ਲੱਗਣਾਂ - to be engrossed in passions). They are totally useless and ignorant (ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਵਲੋਂ ਬੇ-ਸਮਝ) ||2|| (sggs 734).
  • ਬਧਾ ਚਟੀ ਜੋ ਭਰੇ ਨਾ ਗੁਣੁ ਨਾ ਉਪਕਾਰੁ ॥ ਸੇਤੀ ਖੁਸੀ ਸਵਾਰੀਐ ਨਾਨਕ ਕਾਰਜੁ ਸਾਰੁ ॥੩॥: Badhaa chattee jo bhare naa gun naa upkaar. Sethee khusee savaareeai Nanak kaaraj saar ||3||: Paying a fine under pressure ( ਜੋ ਮਨੁੱਖ ਕੋਈ ਕੰਮ ਬੱਧਾ ਰੁੱਧਾ ਕਰੇ - doing something under preassure such as performing for the sake of making money or living, etc.,) does not bring either merit or goodness (to oneself or to others). That alone is a good deed, O Nanak, which is done happily (ਖ਼ੁਸ਼ੀ ਨਾਲ). ||3|| (sggs 787).
  • ਕਰਮ ਕਰਤ ਬਧੇ ਅਹੰਮੇਵ ॥ ਮਿਲਿ ਪਾਥਰ ਕੀ ਕਰਹੀ ਸੇਵ ॥: Karam karat badhe ahanmev. Mil paathar kee karahee sev: Ritual practices bind people in egotism; meeting together, they worship stones (sggs 324).
  • ਮਾਣਸ ਸੇਵਾ ਖਰੀ ਦੁਹੇਲੀ ॥ ਸਾਧ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਸਦਾ ਸੁਹੇਲੀ ॥: Maanas sevaa kharee duhelee. Saadh kee sevaa sadaa suhelee: Serving mortals (in selfishness) brings pain. Service to the Saadh (the Self) brings lasting Peace and Bliss (sggs 1182).
Selfish service or "Koorh-Kriya" results in inflating egoism - lust, greed, anger, emotional attachment, false pride, enviousness, stubborn mindedness, sensual desires, foul-smelling urges, restlessness, agitation, uneasiness, hatred, the feeling of likes and dislikes (Doojaa Bhaav), contentions, violence, suffering, chaos, quarrel, anxiety, falsehood, corruption, and their numerous variations. In the process, our "Koorh-Kriya" gives rise to various cults and sects.
  • ਨਾਮ ਸੰਗਿ ਮਨਿ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਨ ਲਾਵੈ ॥ ਕੋਟਿ ਕਰਮ ਕਰਤੋ ਨਰਕਿ ਜਾਵੈ ॥: Naam sangi mann preet na laavai. Koti karam karto narki jaavai: One whose mind does not embrace love for the Naam will go to hell, even though he may perform millions of ceremonial rituals (sggs 240).
On the name of serving religion, many pursue or force others to get converted to other religion (notably Christianity and Islaam). This is all ignorance in selfishness — lust and greed ("Kanik Kaamini"). If the aim of all religions is to serve the mankind and One God in Love and Truth, then where is the need for one to get himself converted to another religion, or pursue and force others for conversion?

The dignity of one's physical work consists in selfless service. Therefore, if we really want to help the planet, the scriptures and the Men of Light urge us to live a life of selfless Love and Compassion for all Beings. However, until we have become affectionately detached from the sense-world, greater Compassion and Love through our actions will not manifest!

The path of selfless service requires man to love and serve all with Godlike feeling. Such true selfless service is also called Karma Yoga — work as worship. In selflessly serving others we do not pause to think about fruits, rewards and recognition; for we renounce the sense of doership that "I am serving so and so". Instead, we develop the feeling that we are merely an instrument in God's hands, and our reward is in fact that He is using us in His Divine Play (Leelaa).

Mere physical ties cannot be called Love in the true sense of the term. A sincere and true devotee (Gurmukh) will exhibit this rare quality and serve mankind without expecting anything in return. So performing one's selfless Karma, while living amidst life's happenings or Maya, one comes to feel and yearn for All-pervading Reality. Thus, one's work becomes worship — he serves for the sake of serving!

  • ਸੇਵਾ ਕਰਤ ਹੋਇ ਨਿਹਕਾਮੀ ॥ ਤਿਸ ਕਉ ਹੋਤ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਸੁਆਮੀ ॥: Sevaa karat hoi nihakaamee. Tis ko hot paraapat suaamee: One who performs selfless service, without thought of reward, will attain God (sggs 286).
While selfish Sevaa thickens our ego ( Haume), the selfless Sevaa helps thin it. Selfless Sevaa to mankind, thus, makes us detached and free from the world of mortals. Such Nishkaam Sevaa must start at home, and then radiate out.

Thinning of our ego is very essential in that we cannot render Transcendental Sevaa ("Oobhee" Sevaa) to the Self with unripe ego. The spirit of selfless Sevaa must spring from our true Love and truthfulness. During such selfless Sevaa, our heart expands with deepened and widened sense of contentment, kindness, mercy, and goodwill to all. A seeker who meditates (Jap or Naam-Simran) with such a pure heart, filled with Love and Truth, alone can soar to the Spiritual heights within him!

  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਸੋ ਕਰੇ ਜਿਸੁ ਬਿਨਸੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਤਾਪੁ ॥: Satgur kee sevaa so kare jis binsai houmai taapu: People serve the True Guru only when the fever of egotism has been eradicated (sggs 45).
  • ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਰਿ ਕਰਹੁ ਗੁਰ ਸੇਵਾ ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਹਰਿ ਰੰਗਿ ਭੀਨਾ ਹੇ ॥: Houmai maari karahu gur sevaa jan Naanak har rang bheenaa he: Subdue your egotism, and serve the Guru; O servant Nanak, you will be drenched with God's Love (sggs 1028).
"Oobhee" Sevaa: Internal or Formless Sevaa

External Sevaa is not an end in itself! It is the Eternal Sevaa to the Self that is considered as the ultimate good that a Spiritual aspirant can aspire for as the fruit of all his self-efforts. We all are full of Love. However, due to mental conditioning, almost all of our Love is wrongly employed now in the false worldly attachments and adventures — all in vain. But if we withdraw our scattered mind and love from those avenues of foolish investment, and reinvest it at the alter of the Real Self within, we are promised the highest dividend! The Gurbani calls it "Oobhee" Sevaa — Internal, Formless or Transcendental Service, which is an end in itself! Here the devotee in the Transcendental Realm engages with alertness in the service of the Divine Essence within. Thus, it starts within and then radiates out!

  • ਹਸਤੀ ਸਿਰਿ ਜਿਉ ਅੰਕਸੁ ਹੈ ਅਹਰਣਿ ਜਿਉ ਸਿਰੁ ਦੇਇ ॥ ਮਨੁ ਤਨੁ ਆਗੈ ਰਾਖਿ ਕੈ ਊਭੀ ਸੇਵ ਕਰੇਇ ॥ ਇਉ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਆਪੁ ਨਿਵਾਰੀਐ ਸਭੁ ਰਾਜੁ ਸ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਕਾ ਲੇਇ ॥: Hastee siri jiou ankasu hai ahirani jiou siru dei. Manu tanu aagai raakhi kai Oobhee Sevaa karei. Eiou gurmukhi aapu nivaareeai sabhu raaju sarisati kaa lei: (As) The elephant offers his head to the goad and as the anvil offers its head (to hammer). (So) Offer the mind and body (to Satgur...) and do "Oobhee Sev". By becoming a Gurmukh, this is how one eliminates his self-conceit (ਆਪਾ-ਭਾਵ), and come to rule the whole universe. (sggs 647-48).
  • ਬਰਸੈ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਧਾਰ ਬੂੰਦ ਸੁਹਾਵਣੀ ॥ ਸਾਜਨ ਮਿਲੇ ਸਹਜਿ ਸੁਭਾਇ ਹਰਿ ਸਿਉ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਬਣੀ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਮੰਦਰਿ ਆਵੈ ਜਾ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਭਾਵੈ ਧਨ ਊਭੀ ਗੁਣ ਸਾਰੀ ॥ ਘਰਿ ਘਰਿ ਕੰਤੁ ਰਵੈ ਸੋਹਾਗਣਿ ਹਉ ਕਿਉ ਕੰਤਿ ਵਿਸਾਰੀ ॥ ਉਨਵਿ ਘਨ ਛਾਏ ਬਰਸੁ ਸੁਭਾਏ ਮਨਿ ਤਨਿ ਪ੍ਰੇਮੁ ਸੁਖਾਵੈ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਵਰਸੈ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਬਾਣੀ ਕਰਿ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਘਰਿ ਆਵੈ ॥: Barasai amrit dhaar boond suhaavanee. Saajan milae sahaji subhaae har sio preeti banee. Har mandar aavai jaa prabh bhaavai dhann Oobhee gun saaree. Ghari ghari kant ravai sohaagan ho kio kanti visaaree. Ounavi ghan shaaeae barasu subhaaeae mani tani praem sukhaavai. Naanak varasai amrit bani kar kirapaa ghari aavai: The Amrit (Nectar) rains down Within! Its drops are so delightful! Meeting the Saajan (True Guru) with Intuitive Ease (Sahaj Avasthaa), the mortal with Love connects with God Within. God comes into the temple of the body Within, when He is pleased with the Soul-bride's Oobhee Sevaa. In each and every body, the Beloved ravishes and enjoys the happy Soul-brides; so why I have forgotten Him? The Inner sky is overcast with heavy, low-hanging clouds; the rain (of Amrit) is delightful, and my Beloved's Love is pleasing to my mind and body. O Nanak, the Amrit-Bani (Naam, Shabad) rains down Within; God, in His Grace, has made me realize His presence in the Home of my Inner Being (sggs 1107).
  • ਊਭੇ ਸੇਵਹਿ ਅਲਖ ਅਪਾਰੈ ॥: Oobhae sevahi alakh apaarai: They serve the unseen, infinite Being with Oobhee Sevaa (sggs 1022).
  • ਸਚੁ ਕਰਣੀ ਅਭ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਸੇਵਾ ॥: Such karanee abh antar sevaa: True are my actions when deep Within my being, I serve Him (sggs 224).
  • ਭਾਈ ਰੇ ਸਾਚੀ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸੇਵ ॥: Bhaaee rae saachee satgur sev: O Siblings of Destiny, service to the True Guru alone is True (sggs 53).
  • ਝੂਠੁ ਝੂਠੁ ਝੂਠੁ ਝੂਠੁ ਆਨ ਸਭ ਸੇਵ ॥: Jhooth jhooth jhooth jhooth aan sabh sev: False, false, false, false is all other service (sggs 1166).
The Self is the Satguru (also called Saadh, Saadhoo, Sant, Sajjan, Sahib, Mahaan Purakh, Divine Essence and Supreme Truth). And This Satguru resides nowhere but in the core of our Inner Being. How we know this to be true? Here Baabaa Nanak reveals this Truth to us:
  • ਭੂਲੀ ਭੂਲੀ ਮੈ ਫਿਰੀ ਪਾਧਰੁ ਕਹੈ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਪੂਛਹੁ ਜਾਇ ਸਿਆਣਿਆ ਦੁਖੁ ਕਾਟੈ ਮੇਰਾ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸਾਚਾ ਮਨਿ ਵਸੈ ਸਾਜਨੁ ਉਤ ਹੀ ਠਾਇ ॥: Bhoolee bhoolee mai phiree paadhar kahai na koi. Pooshahu jaai siaaniaa dukhu kaatai meraa koi. Satgur saachaa mani vasai ut hee thaai: Confused and deluded (for a long time - ਬਹੁਤ ਚਿਰ ਤੋਂ ਖੁੰਝੀ ਹੋਈ), I wander around, but no one shows me the straight Way (right or clear Path - ਪੱਧਰਾ ਰਾਹ). I keep wandering and asking the clever people, if there is there anyone who can rid me of my suffering. If the true Satguru abides within the mind, then God (Saajan, Sajjan, etc.,) is (also) seen at the same place (that is, within - ਭਾਵ, ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਭੀ ਓਸੇ ਥਾਂ ਹਿਰਦੇ ਵਿਚ ਹੀ ਮਿਲ ਪੈਂਦਾ ਹੈ) (sggs 1087).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਮਨਿ ਵਸੈ ਸਚੀ ਵਡਿਆਈ ॥: Nanak saahibu mani vasai sachee vadiaaee: O Nanak, the Ture Saahib dwells within the mind, and true is His glory (sggs 420).
  • ਸਚਾ ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਮਨਿ ਵਸੈ ਵਸਿਆ ਮਨਿ ਸੋਈ ॥: Sachaa saahib mani vasai vasiaa mani soi: The True Saahib (God) dwells within the mind; the mind that realizes this blends into Him (sggs 420).
  • ਹਉ ਢੂਢੇਦੀ ਸਜਣਾ ਸਜਣੁ ਮੈਡੇ ਨਾਲਿ ॥: Hau dhoodhedee sajjanaa sajjan maide naal: I search for my Sajjan outside, but He is right here Within me (sggs 1384).
  • ਗੁਰਸਿਖਾ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਵਰਤੈ ॥: Gursikhaa andar satgur vartai: The True Guru pervades inside His Gur-Sikhs (sggs 312).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਢੂੰਢਿ ਢੂਢੇਦਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਸਜਣੁ ਲਧਾ ਰਾਮ ਰਾਜੇ ॥: Gurmukhi dhoondh dhoondhediaa hari sajjanu ladhaa raam raaje: By becoming the Gurmukhi, searching (ਖੋਜ) and searching, God is found within. (sggs 449).
  • ਧਨਾਸਰੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੯ ॥ ਕਾਹੇ ਰੇ ਬਨ ਖੋਜਨ ਜਾਈ ॥ ਸਰਬ ਨਿਵਾਸੀ ਸਦਾ ਅਲੇਪਾ ਤੋਹੀ ਸੰਗਿ ਸਮਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਪੁਹਪ ਮਧਿ ਜਿਉ ਬਾਸੁ ਬਸਤੁ ਹੈ ਮੁਕਰ ਮਾਹਿ ਜੈਸੇ ਛਾਈ ॥ ਤੈਸੇ ਹੀ ਹਰਿ ਬਸੇ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਘਟ ਹੀ ਖੋਜਹੁ ਭਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਏਕੋ ਜਾਨਹੁ ਇਹੁ ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਬਤਾਈ ॥ ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਬਿਨੁ ਆਪਾ ਚੀਨੈ ਮਿਟੈ ਨ ਭ੍ਰਮ ਕੀ ਕਾਈ ॥੨॥੧॥: Kaahe re ban khojan jaaee ...: Dhanaasaree Mahalaa 9. Why do you go looking (for God) in the forest? Although he is ever detached, he dwells everywhere. He even abides with you. ||1||Pause|| Like the fragrance which remains in the flower, and like the reflection in the mirror, the Lord dwells deep within (all). (Therefore) search for Him within your own heart, O brother. ||1|| the Guru has imparted this wisdom: outside (the body) and inside (the body), know that there is only the One Lord (pervading everywhere). O Daas Nanak! Without Realizing one’s own self (Mool, Original, or True Nature, etc. - ਆਪਣਾ ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਪਰਖਣ ਤੋਂ ਬਿਨਾ, etc.), the moss of doubt (ignorance of one's True Nature, etc.) is not eradicated (from the mind) ||2||1|| (sggs 684).
  • ਸਭ ਕਿਛੁ ਘਰ ਮਹਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਨਾਹੀ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਟੋਲੈ ਸੋ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲਾਹੀ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਜਿਨੀ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਪਾਇਆ ਸੋ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਸੁਹੇਲਾ ਜੀਉ ॥੧॥: Sabh kishu ghar mahi baahari naahee... (sggs 102).
  • ਦੇਖਹੁ ਅਚਰਜੁ ਭਇਆ ॥ ਜਿਹ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਕਉ ਸੁਨਤ ਅਗਾਧਿ ਬੋਧਿ ਸੋ ਰਿਦੈ ਗੁਰਿ ਦਇਆ ॥: Dekhahu acharaj bhaiaa. Jih thaakur kayu sunat agaadhi bodhi so ridai guri daya: Behold, a wondrous miracle has happened! That Lord, whose wisdom is said to be unfathomable, has been enshrined within my heart (sggs 612).
"Why serve the True Guru in the first place?", One may ask. A sincere Spiritual seeker (Sikh) strives to free himself from Maya by eradicating his ego-mind. He liquidates all his egoism and related selfishness through surrendering all his falsehood to God of his Heart. He thus unfurls within him the Divine Grace (Gur-Parsaad), Love, Beauty, Strength, Fearlessness and Spiritual Perfection, which is necessary to fathom glory of the Spirit. Those who do not engage in serving the True Guru within are called "Abhaage" or unfortunate.
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵਹੁ ਆਪਨਾ ਕਾਹੇ ਫਿਰਹੁ ਅਭਾਗੇ ॥ ਦੇਖਿ ਕਸੁੰਭਾ ਰੰਗੁਲਾ ਕਾਹੇ ਭੂਲਿ ਲਾਗੇ ॥: Satgur sevahu aapnaa kaahe phirahu abhaage. Dekhi kasumbhaa rangulaa kaahe bhooli laage: So serve your True Guru; why wander around miserable and unfortunate? You gaze upon the transitory, beautiful safflower, but why do you get attached to it? (sggs 809).
  • ਜਾ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਸਰਬ ਨਿਧਾਨੁ ॥ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੀ ਪੂਜਾ ਪਾਈਐ ਮਾਨੁ ॥ ਜਾ ਕੀ ਟਹਲ ਨ ਬਿਰਥੀ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਸਦਾ ਸਦਾ ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਇ ॥: Jaa kee sevaa sarab nidhaan ...: Serving God, all treasures are obtained. Worshipping Him, honor is obtained. Working for Him is never in vain; forever and ever, chant His Glorious Praises (sggs 184).
  • So serve God. That is the right path (Quraan, Suraa 19-36).
  • Take shelter in the understanding (Buddhi) that serving God is for your own good (Geetaa 2:49).
  • If you love me and follow my commandments, then you are my disciples indeed (Bible).
In True Guru is the True Guide, Intuitive Wisdom and Self-knowledge. The ultimate purpose of human birth is to pursue the Spiritual Path (Aatam Maarag) and realize one's true relationship with Him. Without awakening this Supreme Truth within, linking with the Supreme Reality is not possible. Consequently, one will remain empty of Inner experience of Blissful and Conscious Existence.

In other words, the awakening of the Satguru within is must for attaining Gur-Parsaad, Divine Blessing, Grace, Love, Joy, true Yoga, liberation from sense-slavery, mental purity, Self-knowledge (Aatam-Giaan), realization of the Gurmat (intuitive wisdom of the Gurbani), pure Bhagti (devotion), Eternal Anand (Blissful Realm), and so on. In other words, freedom from Maya (Cosmic Illusion) is impossible without realization of the Satguru within. Upon awakening of the Satguru in our bosom, Maya folds its tent and disappear; for the Satguru and Maya are of the opposing nature!

  • ਬਿਨੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸੇਵੇ ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥: Bin satgur seve jog na hoee: Without serving the True Guru, Yoga (union woth God) is not attained (sggs 946).
  • ਜਗਦੀਸ ਸੇਵਉ ਮੈ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਕਾਜਾ ॥: Jagadees sevo mai avar na kaajaa: I serve God; I have no other work to do (sggs 798).
  • ਹਰਿ ਜਨ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਜੋ ਕਰੇ ਇਤ ਊਤਹਿ ਛੂਟੈ ॥: Har jan kee sevaa jo karae eit ootahi shhootai: But whoever serves God's humble servants, is emancipated here and hereafter (sggs 811).
  • ਅਪਨੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਆਪਿ ਕਰਾਈ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਜਾਗੀ ॥: Apanee sevaa aap karaaee guramati antar jaagee: God Himself inspires them to serve Him; they are awakened Within to Gurmat (sggs 667).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸੇਵੇ ਜਗਤੁ ਮੁਆ ਬਿਰਥਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਇ ॥: Bin satgur sevae jagat muaa birathaa janam gavaae: Without serving the True Guru, the people of the world are dead; they waste their lives away in vain (sggs 591)
  • ਗੁਰ ਸੇਵਾ ਤਪਾਂ ਸਿਰਿ ਤਪੁ ਸਾਰੁ ॥: Gur sevaa tapaan sir tapu saar: Service to the Guru is the most excellent and sublime penance of penances (sggs 423).
  • ਗੁਰ ਸੇਵਾ ਤੇ ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਤਾ ॥: Gur sevaa te aap pashhaataa: Serving the Guru, I have attained Self-realization (sggs 415).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵੇ ਤਾ ਮਲੁ ਜਾਏ ॥: Satgur sevae taa mallu jaaeae: Serving the True Guru, inner filth and pollution are removed (sggs 116).
  • ਪੂਰੇ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵ ਨ ਕੀਨੀ ਬਿਰਥਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ॥: Poorae gur kee sev na keenee birathaa janam gavaaeiaa: They do not serve the Perfect Guru; they waste away their lives in vain (sggs 32).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਬਿਨੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸੇਵੇ ਮੋਖੁ ਨ ਪਾਏ ॥: Naanak bin satgur sevae mokh na paaeae: O Nanak, without serving the True Guru, liberation is not obtained (sggs 88).
  • ਗੁਰ ਸੇਵਾ ਤੇ ਭਗਤਿ ਕਮਾਈ ॥: Gur sevaa te bhagati kamaaee: Through the Guru's service, the Lord's Bhagti (loving devotion) is practiced (sggs 1159).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸੇਵੇ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਪਾਈਐ ਪੂਰੈ ਭਾਗਿ ਮਿਲੈ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਸੋਈ ॥: Bin satgur seve bhagati na paaeeai poorai bhaag milai prabh soee: But without serving the True Guru, devotional worship is not obtained. Only through perfect destiny does one meet God (sggs 1131).
  • ਸਗਲ ਭਗਤ ਜਾ ਕੀ ਕਰਦੇ ਸੇਵਾ ॥: Sagal bhagat jaa kee karadae sevaa: All the devotees serve Him (sggs 1078)
  • ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਗੁਰ ਭਗਤਿ ਹੈ ਵਿਰਲਾ ਪਾਏ ਕੋਇ ॥: Gur kee sevaa gur bagati hai viralaa paaeae koe: Service to the Guru is worship of the Guru. How rare are those who obtain it! (sggs 66).
  • ਗੁਰ ਸੇਵਾ ਬਿਨੁ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਵੀ ਕਿਉ ਕਰਿ ਚੀਨਸਿ ਆਪੈ ॥: Gur sevaa bin bhagati na hovee kiyu kari cheenasi aapai: Without serving the Guru, there is no devotional worship; how can anyone realize the Self? (sggs 1013).
  • ਤਬ ਛੂਟੇ ਜਬ ਸਾਧੂ ਪਾਇਆ ॥: Tab shhoottae jab saadhhoo paaeiaa: The mortal is liberated from Maya only when he realizes the Satguru (sggs 1160).
This explains as to why there is so much gradation among the devotees in their experience of the Divine Essence. The Supreme Being is a boundless Ocean. Some just remain standing on the shore beholding its expanse, while others can only test its waters at the shore, however, only a few can delve deep into the ocean and gather the pearls from its floor! Those handful alone can fathom the glory of God who serve Him in Love and Truth.
  • ਇਕਿ ਖੜੇ ਰਸਾਤਲਿ ਕਰਿ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਗਾਵਾਰਾ ॥ ਇਕਨਾ ਪਾਰਿ ਲੰਘਾਵਹਿ ਆਪੇ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਜਿਨ ਕਾ ਸਚੁ ਬੇੜਾ ॥: Iknaa paari langhaavahi aapae satgur jin kaa sachu baerhaa. Ik kharhae rasaatal kari manmukh gaavaaraa: Some are foolish Manmukhs, who remain in hellish state of life. Some are carried across by the Satguru who have embarked on the ship of Truth (sggs 1080).
Everything we see in this world is perishable. There is only one thing permanent — the Self. Once the Self is realized through the "Oobhee" Sevaa, the Jeeva then becomes connected to the Infinite Consciousness, Waheguru. Without serving the Self, this true universal Oneness so much talked about in the Gurbani cannot be experienced. Therefore, as the scriptures reveal to us, the entire creation in some form is continually engaged serving Him. That include all of the so called demigods and goddesses, Maya, Yogis, ascetics, sages and other beings.
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸੇਵੇ ਏਕੁ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥: Bin satgur seve ek n hoee: Without serving the True Guru, you cannot become one with God (sggs 1057).
  • ਕੋਟਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਜਾ ਕੈ ਸੇਵਕਾਇ ॥: Koti maya jaa kai sevakaai: Millions of Mayas are His maid-servants (sggs 1156).
  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮਾ ਬਿਸਨੁ ਰੁਦ੍ਰੁ ਤਿਸ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ॥: Brahamaa bisanu rudru tis kee sevaa: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva serve Him (sggs 1053)
  • ਨਾਰਦ ਸਾਰਦ ਸੇਵਕ ਤੇਰੇ ॥: Naarad saarad sevak tere: Naarad and Saraswati are Your servants (sggs 1028).
  • ਇੰਦ੍ਰ ਤਪੇ ਮੁਨਿ ਤੇਰੀ ਸੇਵਾ ॥: Indara tape muni taeree sevaa: Indra, ascetics and silent sages serve You (sggs 1034).
  • ਲਖ ਚਉਰਾਸੀਹ ਮੇਦਨੀ ਸਭ ਸੇਵ ਕਰੰਦਾ ॥: Lakh chouraaseeh medanee sabh sev karandaa: The 8.4 million species of beings all work to serve me (sggs 1096).
  • ਜੀਅ ਜੰਤ ਸਭਿ ਤਾ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ॥: Jeea jant sabh taa kee sevaa: All beings and creatures serve Him (sggs 1084)
Do we really know how to serve the Self? As indicated in the Gurbani, the majority of us do not know how to serve the Self. Why? Because, with the exception of very rare ones, the rest of us either have no inclination for Transcendental Knowledge or do not understand the language of the True Guru. Further, we do not want to abandon life's sensuousness. So conditioned and illusioned, the majority of us do not have the patience to go beyond the sense-bent mind. Also, to please our whims, fancies or ego we simply fail to accept or realize the Truth. Consequently, we find it very difficult to serve the Divinity. As a result, our practice of religion has become superfluous, self-deceiving, wasteful, delusory and full of worldly entanglements.
  • ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵ ਨ ਜਾਣੈ ਕੋਈ ॥: Gur kee sev na jaanai koee: No one knows how to serve the Guru.
  • ਤਿਸੁ ਸੇਵਤ ਮਨਿ ਆਲਸੁ ਕਰੈ ॥: Tis sevat manni aalas karai: My mind is reluctant to serve Him (sggs 913).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਗਾਖੜੀ ਸਿਰੁ ਦੀਜੈ ਆਪੁ ਗਵਾਇ ॥: It is very difficult to serve the Satigur (Shabad-Vichaar); (it's difficult because to do so one must) surrender head (ego, self-conceit...) - give up ownself or selfhood (ਆਪਾ-ਭਾਵ ਦੂਰ ਕਰ ਕੇ). (sggs 649).
  • ਹਉਮੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਸੇਵਾ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਤਾ ਮਨੁ ਬਿਰਥਾ ਜਾਇ ॥: In ego, Sevaa cannot be performed so the mind goes wasted (useless, purposeless, troubled, no avail...). (sggs 560).
  • ਕਿਸੁ ਹਉ ਸੇਵੀ ਕਿਸੁ ਆਰਾਧੀ ਜੋ ਦਿਸਟੈ ਸੋ ਗਾਛੈ ॥: Kis ho sevee kis aaraadhhee jo dhisuttai so gaashhai: Whom should I serve? Whom should I worship in adoration? Whoever I see will pass way (sggs 533).
  • ਅਵਰੁ ਦੂਜਾ ਕਿਉ ਸੇਵੀਐ ਜੰਮੈ ਤੈ ਮਰਿ ਜਾਇ ॥: Avar doojaa kio seveeai janmai tai mar jaae: Why serve another who is born, and then dies? (sggs 509).
As repeatedly mentioned in the Gurbani, the human form is best suited for serving God, and the means for realizing the privilege of performing service to Him is through "Oobhee" Sevaa. The question is: how can one go about rendering "Oobhee" Sevaa to the Formless Self? What does this Sevaa consist of?
  • ਭਈ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਮਾਨੁਖ ਦੇਹੁਰੀਆ ॥ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਮਿਲਣ ਕੀ ਇਹ ਤੇਰੀ ਬਰੀਆ ॥ ਅਵਰਿ ਕਾਜ ਤੇਰੈ ਕਿਤੈ ਨ ਕਾਮ ॥ ਮਿਲੁ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤਿ ਭਜੁ ਕੇਵਲ ਨਾਮ ॥੧॥: Bhaee praapat maanukh dehureeaa. Gobind milan kee ih teree bareeaa. Avar kaaj terai kitai n kaam. Mil saadh sangat bhaj keval Naam ||1||: (You) have obtained (this) human body. This is your chance (time, opportunity...) to meet God. (If no effort is put forward to Realize God, then) all other efforts (work, ਉੱਦਮ) will be of no use (to your Soul). (Therefore) merge with the Saadhsangt and contemplate the Naam (Gur- or Aatm-Giaan...) alone ||1|| (sggs 12).
  • ਏਕੋ ਸੇਵੀ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਦੂਜਾ ॥: Eko sevee avar na doojaa: I serve One God, and not any other (sggs 1136).
  • ਸੋ ਐਸਾ ਹਰਿ ਸੇਵਹੁ ਸੰਤਹੁ ਜਾ ਕੀ ਊਤਮ ਬਾਣੀ ਹੇ ॥: So aisaa har sevuhu santahu jaa kee ootam bani hae: So you serve such a Lord, O saints, whose Bani is exalted and sublime (sggs 1070).
  • ਸਫਲ ਸੇਵਾ ਗੋਪਾਲ ਰਾਇ ॥: Safal sevaa gopaal raae: Service to God is fruitful and rewarding (sggs 1146).
  • ਸੇਵਾ ਏਕ ਨ ਜਾਨਸਿ ਅਵਰੇ ॥: Sevaa eaek na jaanas avarae: Those who serve One God, do not know any other (sggs 225).

A sincere seeker serves the Satgur with the Divine Name (Naam) —Ik Shabad, Ik Aakh, Bachan, Updes, Bani, Deekhiaa, Heeraa, Rattan, etc.. This is the "Oobhee" Sevaa: meditation on Illuminating Factor through His Naam (Shabad...), with deep faith and one-pointed concentration.

The Gurbani reveals to us two very important concepts. The first is that God has made man in His True Image ("Joti-Svaroopa"), hence, the man's real nature is Divine. And second, the only aim of human life is to realize the Essence of this Divinity. If performed with concentration, intuitive understanding, determination,constancy, assiduousness and feeling, the Naam will open a person to himself - it will bring the person face to face with the Self within, the True Guru. No wonder the crux of devotional literature is the depiction of the glory of Divine Name!

  • ਨਾਮੁ ਹਮਾਰੈ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵ ॥੧॥: Naamu hamaarai Gur kee sev||1||: Naam-Sevaa for me is the Gur-Sevaa (sggs 1145).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸੇਵਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਦ੍ਰਿੜੳਏ ॥: Satgur sevaa naam drirhaae (sggs 1175).
  • ਸਤਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਭਾਣਾ ਮੰਨਿ ਲਈ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਆਪੁ ਗਵਾਇ ॥ ਏਹਾ ਸੇਵਾ ਚਾਕਰੀ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਸੈ ਮਨਿ ਆਇ ॥: Satgur kaa bhaanaa mann layee vichahu aap gavaai. Ehaa sevaa chaakree Naam vasai manni aai: I will accept the Will of the True Guru, and eradicate selfishness from within. By this work and service, the Naam will come to dwell Within my mind (sggs 34).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵਨਿ ਆਪਣਾ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਭਾਣਾ ਮੰਨਿ ਲੈਨਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਰਖਹਿ ਉਰ ਧਾਰਿ ॥: Satgur sevan aapnaa gur shabadee veechaar ...: Those who serve their True Guru, who contemplate the Word of the Gur-Shabad, who honor and obey the Will of the True Guru, who keep God’s Name enshrined within their hearts, are honored, here and hereafter; they are dedicated to the business of God’s Name (sggs 1415).
  • ਹਰਿ ਸੰਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਜਨ ਸੁਣਹੁ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹਰਿ ਸੇਵਾ ਸਫਲ ਬਣੀ ॥: Hari sant sangati jan sunahu bhaaee gurmukhi hari sevaa safal banee: Listen to God's Name in the Society of the Spiritual persons, O humble Siblings of Destiny. The Gurmukh's service to God is fruitfuln (sggs 1115).
  • ਬੰਧਨਿ ਬਾਧਿਆ ਇਨ ਬਿਧਿ ਛੂਟੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸੇਵੈ ਨਰਹਰੇ ॥੧॥: Bandhan baadhiaa in bidh shootai gurmukhi sevai narahare ||1||: Bound in bondage, the man is released only by this method: by becoming a Gurmukh, serve God ||1|| (sggs 1112).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਵਸੈ ਮਨਿ ਸਾਚਾ ਸਦ ਸੇਵੇ ਸੁਖਦਾਤਾ ਹੇ ॥: Gurmukhi sabad vasai mann saachaa sad sevae sukhadaataa hae: The True Shabad dwells deep Within the mind of the Gurmukh; he serves the Giver of peace forever (sggs 1051).
  • ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਕਰਤਿਆ ਮਨੁ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਹੋਆ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵ ਪਿਆਰੀ ਹੇ ॥: Har Har karatiaa mannu niramal hoaa gur kee sev piaaree hae: Chanting God's Name, the mind becomes immaculate; its lovely to serve the Guru (sggs 1050).
  • ਗੁਰ ਸੇਵਾ ਤੇ ਸਬਦਿ ਪਛਾਤਾ ॥: Gur sevaa te sabad pashhaataa: Serving the Guru, through the Shabad, He is realized (sggs 1045).
  • ਪੂਰਾ ਸੇਵਕੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਸਿਞਾਪ ॥: Pooraa sevak sabad sinjaapai: Perfect servant attains realization through the Shabad (sggs 1045).
  • ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਭਗਤਿ ਕਰੇ ਦਿਨੁ ਰਾਤੀ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸੇਵਾ ਹੋਈ ਹੈ ॥: Anadin bhagti karae din raatee gurmukhi sevaa hoee hae: Night and day, His devotees worship Him, day and night; one who becomes Gurmukh serves Him (sggs 1045).
  • ਸਚੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵ ॥: Sachai sabadi satgur sevai: Through the Shabad, serve the True Guru (sggs 1044).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵੇ ਆਪੁ ਗਵਾਏ ॥: Satgur sevae aap gavaaeae: One who serves the True Guru eradicates false ego (sggs 1044).
  • ਨਿਹਕਪਟ ਸੇਵਾ ਕੀਜੈ ਹਰਿ ਕੇਰੀ ਤਾਂ ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨ ਸਰਬ ਸੁਖ ਪਈਐ ॥: Nihakapat sevaa keejai hari kaeree taan maerae mann sarab sukh peeai: Serve God open-heartedly, and then, O my mind, you will find total Peace (sggs 861).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਸਫਲੁ ਹੈ ਜੇ ਕੋ ਕਰੇ ਚਿਤੁ ਲਾਇ ॥: Satgur kee sevaa safal hai jae ko karae chit laae: Service to the True Guru is fruitful and rewarding, if one performs it with his mind focused on it (sggs 644).
  • ਆਪੁ ਛੋਡਿ ਸੇਵਾ ਕਰੀ ਪਿਰੁ ਸਚੜਾ ਮਿਲੈ ਸਹਜਿ ਸੁਭਾੲ ॥: Aap shhodi sevaa karee pir sacharraa milai sahaji subhaaeae: Serve by Renouncing ego, then attain True Beloved, with Intuitive Ease (sggs 583).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵੇ ਤਿਲੁ ਨ ਤਮਾਇ ॥: Satgur seve til na tamaai: Serve the True Guru with no iota of ego (sggs 361).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਕੈ ਘਰਿ ਕੇਵਲ ਨਾਮੁ ॥੪॥੪॥: Nanak kai ghar kaeval naam ||4||4||: There is only Naam in Nanak's Home (inner Home, Heart, etc.) ||4||4|| (sggs 1136).
  • ਨਾਮੋ ਸੇਵੇ ਨਾਮਿ ਸਹਜਿ ਸਮਾਵੈ ॥: Naamo seve naam sahaj samaavai: They serve the Name, and through the Name, they are absorbed in Sahaj (sggs 232).
What is the process by which the Naam Sevaa is performed? Baabaa Nanak has revealed this secret to us in the Gurbani. He has explained the process exactly the way he did it! First of all, it must be performed with Sahaj, naturally and without stubborn mindedness. Second, when pronounced, the Shabad or Mantra must be pronounced properly, slowly, thoughtfully, with love, with feeling and concentration, spontaneously and mentally hearing its transcendental vibratory sound. Third, the half Mantra is repeated while inhaling (i.e., "Wahe"), and the other half while exhaling (i.e., "Guru"), effortlessly.
  • ਇਕਿ ਆਖਿ ਆਖਹਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਭਾਖਹਿ ਅਰਧ ਉਰਧ ਦਿਨੁ ਰਾਤਿ ॥: Eik aakh aakhehi subudh bhaakhehi arudhh ourudhh dhin raath: Speak and chant with their mouth one Word of the Shabad (Naam or Mantra) - while inhailing and exhailing, day and night (sggs 1239).
  • ਬਾਬੀਹਾ ਤੂੰ ਸਹਜਿ ਬੋਲਿ ਸਚੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਸੁਭਾਇ ॥ ਸਭੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਤੇਰੈ ਨਾਲਿ ਹੈ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਦੀਆ ਦਿਖਾਇ ॥: Baabeehaa tu sahaj bol sachai shabad subhaai...: O sparrow-hawk of the mind, speak the Shabad, the True Word, with natural peace and poise. Everything is Within you; the True Guru will show you this (sggs 1420).
Since the Naam, Shabad or Hukam are one and the same, the Naam-Simran or Hukam Mannanaa (acceptance of Will or Bhaanaa) are essential the same. In nutshell, Sevaa of the Naam is the Sevaa of the Self! This is why the underlying message in all holy works is to always think of God. In the Kal Yuga, chanting of the Divine Name is said to be an effective, practical, and easy mean of liberation from bondage. With sincere and faithful practice, after the Naam Jap is perfected aloud, it becomes soft and then mental ("Ajappaa Jaap" or meditation). Without meditation on God, or Naam, all other Spiritual practices are zero.
  • ਨਾਮੋ ਸੇਵੇ ਨਾਮਿ ਸਹਜਿ ਸਮਾਵੈ ॥: Naamo seve naam sahaj samaavai: They serve the Name, and through the Name, they are absorbed in intuitive Peace and Poise (sggs 232).
  • ਹੁਕਮੁ ਬੂਝੈ ਸੋ ਸੇਵਕੁ ਕਹੀਐ ॥: Hukam Boojhai so sevak kaheeai: One who realizes the Hukam is said to be His servant (sggs 1076).
  • ਸਤਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਭਾਣਾ ਮੰਨਿ ਲਈ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਆਪੁ ਗਵਾਇ ॥ ਏਹਾ ਸੇਵਾ ਚਾਕਰੀ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਸੈ ਮਨਿ ਆਇ ॥ ਨਾਮੈ ਹੀ ਤੇ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਈਐ ਸਚੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਸੁਹਾਇ ॥: Satgur Kaa bhaanaa manni layee vichahu aap gavaae. Ehaa sevaa chaakree naamu vasia mani aae. Naame hee te sukh paaeeai sachai shabadi suhaai: I will accept the Will of the True Guru, and eradicate selfishness from Within. By this work and service, the Naam will come to dwell within my mind. Through the Naam, peace is obtained; I am adorned and embellished by the True Word of the Shabad (sggs 34).
  • ਨਾਉ ਧਿਆਈਐ ਨਾਉ ਮੰਗੀਐ ਨਾਮੇ ਸਹਜਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥: Naayu dhiaaeeai naayu mangeeai naame sahaji samaai: Meditate on the Name, worship the Name, and through the Name, you will be absorbed in intuitive Peace and Poise (sggs 26).
  • ਅਜਪਾ ਜਾਪੁ ਨ ਵੀਸਰੈ ਆਦਿ ਜੁਗਾਦਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥ ਸਭਿ ਸਖੀਆ ਪੰਚੇ ਮਿਲੇ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ ਵਾਸੁ ॥ ਸਬਦੁ ਖੋਜਿ ਇਹੁ ਘਰੁ ਲਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਤਾ ਕਾ ਦਾਸੁ ॥: Ajappaa jaap na veesrai aadi ... (sggs 1291).
Realization of the Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...) is the realization of the Naam and the Satguru within. Upon Realization, the Jeeva becomes one with the Naam - it's like when you stir the fire with a wooden stick, you burn the stick too! In this subtle form, the Naam is called "Anahad Dhuni", "Anahad Naad", "Anahad Bani", "Anhata Shabad", "Panch Shabad", "Gur Charan", "Gur-Moorati", "Amrit Dhaaraa", "Sahaj Avasthaa", "Anand Bhaiaa", "Brahm Giaan", "Gobind Gajjiyaa", and so on, which is beyond the reach of our bodily senses and the three modes of material nature.
  • ਅਨੰਦੁ ਭਇਆ ਮੇਰੀ ਮਾਏ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਮੈ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਤ ਪਾਇਆ ਸਹਜ ਸੇਤੀ ਮਨਿ ਵਜੀਆ ਵਾਧਾਈਆ ॥: Anandu bhaiaa meree maae stigur mai paaiaa. Satigur ta paaiaa sahaj setee mani vajeeaa vaadhaaiaa (sggs 917).
  • ਗੁਰ ਸੇਵਾ ਤੇ ਨਾਉ ਪਾਇਆ ਵੁਠਾ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਆਇ ॥: Gur sevaa tae naao paaeiaa vuthaa andar aai: By Serving the Guru, the Name is Realized, which comes to dwell deep within (sggs 427).
  • ਪੰਚੇ ਸਬਦ ਵਜੇ ਮਤਿ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਵਡਭਾਗੀ ਅਨਹਦੁ ਵਜਿਆ ॥ ਆਨਦ ਮੂਲੁ ਰਾਮੁ ਸਭੁ ਦੇਖਿਆ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਗੋਵਿਦੁ ਗਜਿਆ ॥: Panche Shabad vaje mati gurmati vadabhaagee anhad vajjiyaa. Aanand mool Raam sabh dekhiyaa gur shaddee Gobind gajjiyaa: The Panch Shabad, the Five Primal Sounds, vibrate with the Gurmat, by great good fortune, the Unstruck Melody resonates and resounds. I see God, the Source of Bliss, everywhere; through the Gur-Shabad, God is revealed (sggs 1315).
  • ਆਤਮੁ ਚੀਨਿ ਪਰਮ ਪਦੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਸੇਵਾ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਸਮਾਈ ਹੇ ॥੧੫॥: Aatam cheen param pad paaeiaa sevaa surati samaaee he ||15||: Understanding (my) own Soul (ਆਪਣੇ ਜੀਵਨ ਨੂੰ ਪੜਤਾਲ ਕੇ...), (I) have obtained the Supreme Status (ਸਭ ਤੋਂ ਉੱਚਾ ਆਤਮਕ ਦਰਜਾ); (my) awareness is immersed in selfless service ||15||.
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਨਾਮੁ ਰਤਨ ਧਨੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਭਾਈ ਹੇ ॥: Satgur te naam ratan dhun paaeiaa satgur kee sevaa bhaaee hae: From the True Guru, I have realized the wealth of the Naam-jewel. Service to the True Guru is pleasing to me (sggs 1069).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸੇਵਾ ਤੇ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਹਰਿ ਕੈ ਨਾਮਿ ਸਮਾਈ ਹੇ ॥: Satgur sevaa te sukh paaeiaa hari kai naami samaaee hae: Serving the True Guru, peace is obtained, and one merges in God's Name (sggs 1047).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸੇਵੇ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਪਾਈਐ ਪੜਿ ਥਾਕੇ ਸਾਂਤਿ ਨ ਆਈ ਹੇ ॥: Bin satgur sevae naam na paaeeai parr thaakae saant na aaee hae: Without serving the True Guru, the Naam is not obtained. You can read until you are exhausted, but you shall not find peace and tranquility (sggs 1046).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸੇਵਹਿ ਸੇ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਵਹਿ ਸਚੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਿਲਾਇਦਾ ॥: Satgur sevahi se sukh paavahi sachai sabad milaaidaa: Those who serve the True Guru find peace; they are united with the True Shabad -- Naam (sggs 1060).
  • ਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵੀਜੈ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪੀਜੈ ਜਿਸੁ ਲਾਵਹਿ ਸਹਜਿ ਧਿਆਨੋ ॥: Gur saeveejai Amrit peejai jis laavahi sahaji dhiaano: (O Lord, only that person) Serves the Guru and drinks in the Amrit (Amrit of Your Naam) whom You causes to meditate intuitively (ਜਿਸ ਦੀ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਤੂੰ ਆਤਮਕ ਅਡੋਲਤਾ ਵਿਚ ਟਿਕਾਂਦਾ ਹੈਂ - "ਸਹਜਿ ਧਿਆਨੋ") (sggs 777).
  • ਬਰਸੈ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਧਾਰ ਬੂੰਦ ਸੁਹਾਵਣੀ ॥ ਸਾਜਨ ਮਿਲੇ ਸਹਜਿ ਸੁਭਾਇ ਹਰਿ ਸਿਉ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਬਣੀ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਮੰਦਰਿ ਆਵੈ ਜਾ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਭਾਵੈ ਧਨ ਊਭੀ ਗੁਣ ਸਾਰੀ ॥: Barasai Amrit dhaar boond suhaavanee. Saajan milae sahaji subhaae hari sio preeti bunee. Hari mandar aavai jaa prabh bhaavai dhunn oobhee gun saaree: The Amrit (Naam) rains down Within! Its drops are so delightful! Meeting the Saajan (True Guru) with Intuitive Ease (Sahaj Avasthaa), the mortal loving connects with God Within. God comes into the temple of the body Within, when He is pleased with the Soul-bride's Oobhee Sevaa (sggs 375).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸੇਵਾ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਰਸੁ ਪੀਜੈ ॥: Gurmukh sevaa Amrit ras peejai: Those who serve by becoming Gurmukhs, drink in Amrit (sggs 161).
The True Wisdom, thus, is the Love of the Self. The benefits of this "Oobhee" Sevaa, as mentioned in the Gurbani, are as follows: it results in Sahaj-Avasthaa (natural state of Being), intuitive Peace and Poise (Sukha or Anand), Wisdom and Knowledge, the real Amrit (Immortality), Intuitive Understanding (Soojh-Boojh), Mukti (liberation), fulfillment, acceptance and honor, Self-realization, fearlessness, truthfulness, desirelessness, egolessnessness, victory over mind and Jagat, etc.
  • ਗੁਰ ਸੇਵ ਤਰੇ ਤਜਿ ਮੇਰ ਤੋਰ ॥: Gur sev tare taji maer tor: Serving the Guru, one is carried across; he abandons any distinction between 'mine' and 'yours' (sggs 1170).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵੇ ਖੁਲ੍ਹ੍ਹੇ ਕਪਾਟ ॥: Satgur seve khuleh kapaat: Serving the True Guru; the hard and heavy shutters of man's mind are opened wide (sggs 1139).
  • ਥਿਰੁ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਪਰਮੇਸਰੋ ਸੇਵਕੁ ਥਿਰੁ ਹੋਸੀ ॥: Thir paarbraham parmaesaro sevak thir hosee: Only the Supreme Transcendent God is permanent. His servant becomes permanent as well (sggs 1100).
  • ਜੋ ਤੁਧੁ ਸੇਵਹਿ ਸੇ ਤੁਧ ਹੀ ਜੇਹੇ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਬਾਲ ਸਖਾਈ ਹੇ ॥: Jo tudh sevehi sae tudh hee jaehae nirbho baal sakhaaee hae: Those who serve You, become just like You; O Fearless God, You are their best friend from infancy (sggs 1021).
  • ਗੁਰ ਸੇਵਕ ਕਉ ਬਿਘਨੁ ਨ ਭਗਤੀ ਹਰਿ ਪੂਰ ਦ੍ਰਿੜ੍ਹ੍ਹਾਇਆ ਗਿਆਨਾਂ ਹੇ ॥੫॥: Gur sevak kayu bigan na bhagtee hari poor drirraaeiaa giaanaan hae ||5||: No obstacles stand in the way of devotion to God, for one who serves the Guru. The Guru implants perfect Spiritual Wisdom ||5|| (sggs 1075).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵੇ ਤਾ ਮੁਕਤੁ ਹੋਵੈ ਪੰਚ ਦੂਤ ਵਸਿ ਆਇਆ ॥: Satgur seve taa mukat hovai panch doot vasi aaiaa: Serving the True Guru, one is liberated, and the five demons are put under his control (sggs 1068).
  • ਅਨੇਕ ਜਤਨ ਕਰੇ ਇੰਦ੍ਰੀ ਵਸਿ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥ ਕਾਮਿ ਕਰੋਧਿ ਜਲੈ ਸਭੁ ਕੋਈ ॥ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸੇਵੇ ਮਨੁ ਵਸਿ ਆਵੈ ਮਨ ਮਾਰੇ ਮਨਹਿ ਸਮਾਇਦਾ ॥੧੫॥: Anek jatan kare indree vasi na hoee. Kaami krodhi jalai sabhyu koee. Satigur seve manu vasi aavai man maare manahi samaaidaa: (Without taking refuge in the Sanctury of the Gur-Giaan) making countless efforts, lust is not overcome. Everyone is burning in the fires of lust and anger. Serving the Satguru (ਸਚ ਦਾ ਗਿਆਨ, Divine Knowledge...), one brings his mind under control; conquering his mind, he merges in the Mind (Higher Mind, ਆਤਮਕ ਅਡੋਲਤਾ, which does not burn in passions or Maya anymore) ||15|| (sggs 1062).
  • ਗੁਰ ਸੇਵੇ ਜੇਵਡੁ ਹੋਰੁ ਲਾਹਾ ਨਾਹੀ ॥: Gur sevae jaevad hor laahaa naahee: There is no other profit as great as service to the Guru (sggs 1062).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਸੇਵ ਅਪਾਰ ਦੇਵ ਤਟਹ ਖਟਹ ਬਰਤ ਪੂਜਾ ਗਵਨ ਭਵਨ ਜਾਤ੍ਰ ਕਰਨ ਸਗਲ ਫਲ ਪੁਨੀ ॥: Naanak sev apaar dev tattah khattah barat poojaa gavan bhavan jaatar karan sagal fal punee: O Nanak, serving the Infinite Divine, one earns all the rewards and merits of performing the six rituals, fasts, worship services, pilgrimages to sacred rivers, and journeys to sacred shrines (sggs 1153).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸੇਵੇ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਈ ਮਨਿ ਦੇਖਹੁ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਈ ਹੇ ॥: Bin satgur seve mukti na hoee mani dekhahu liv laaee hae: Without serving the True Guru, no one finds liberation. O mind, tune into this, and see (sggs 1046).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸੇਵੇ ਕੀ ਵਡਿਆਈ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਭੂਖ ਗਵਾਈ ਹੇ ॥: Satgur sevae kee vadiaaee trisanaa bhookh gavaaee hae: The glory of serving the True Guru is that it eradicates hunger and thirst (sggs 1044).
  • ਜਿਨ ਪਾਇਆ ਤਿਨ ਪੂਛਹੁ ਭਾਈ ਸੁਖੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸੇਵ ਕਮਾਈ ਹੇ ॥: Jin paaeiaa tin pooshahu bhaaee sukh satgur sev kamaaee hae: So ask one who has obtained it, O Siblings of Destiny. Serve the True Guru, and find Peace (sggs 1026).
Therefore, after having been fortunate to be born as a human being, we are urged by the Gurbani to use this life for serving the Self while living amidst the worldly activities; for He is the only "Sajjan Sant Pakkiaa" (Satguru), all else is "Kache" (false). Upon realizing this true Eternal Friend, one will come to know that the servitor (Sevak), serving (Sevaa), and the served (Bhagwaan) are one and the same! And that the Self, Satguru, God, Naam, Shabad, Hukam, etc., are not different from each other!
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਕਚੜਿਆ ਸਿਉ ਤੋੜਿ ਢੂਢਿ ਸਜਣ ਸੰਤ ਪਕਿਆ ॥: Nanak kacharriaa sio torr dhoondhi sajjan sant pakkiaa: O Nanak, break away from the false, and seek out the True Guru, your true Friend (sggs 1102 ).
  • ਹਉ ਢੂੰਢੇਂਦੀ ਸਜਣਾ ਸਜਣੁ ਮੈਡੈ ਨਾਲਿ ॥: Haou dhoondhendee sajjanaa sajjanu maidai naal: I was seeking, searching for my Friend (Sajjan), but He is right here Within me (sggs 1318).
  • ਤਿਸੁ ਸੇਵੀ ਜੋ ਰਖੈ ਨਿਦਾਨਾ ॥: Tis sevee jo rakhai nidaanaa: I serve only the One, who will protect me in the end (sggs 1136).
  • ਆਪੇ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਆਪੇ ਸੇਵਕੁ ਸਭੁ ਆਪੇ ਆਪਿ ਗੋਵਿੰਦੇ ॥: Aape thaakur aape sevak sabh aape aapi govindae: He Himself is God, and He Himself is the Sevak. God Himself is all by Himself (sggs 800).
  • ਤੂ ਆਪੇ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਸੇਵਕੋ ਆਪੇ ਪੂਜੰਤਾ ॥: Tu aapae thaakur sevako aapae poojantaa: You Yourself are the Lord and the Sevak; You worship and adore Yourself (sggs 1095).
  • ਆਪੇ ਰਸੀਆ ਆਪਿ ਰਸੁ ਆਪੇ ਰਾਵਣਹਾਰੁ ॥: Aape riseeaa aapi rasu aape raavanhaar: He Himself is the Enjoyer, Enjoying and Enjoyment (sggs 23).
  • ਆਪ ਹੀ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਆਪਹਿ ਸੇਵਾ ॥: Aap hee mandaru aapahi sevaa: He Himself is the temple, and He Himself is selfless service.Pannaa: 803
  • ਆਪੇ ਸਾਜੇ ਆਪੇ ਰੰਗੇ ਆਪੇ ਨਦਰਿ ਕਰੇਇ ॥: Aape saaje aape range aape nadari kare: He Himself creates, and He Himself imbues us. He Himself bestows His Glance of Grace (sggs 722).
  • ਓਤਿ ਪੋਤਿ ਸੇਵਕ ਸੰਗਿ ਰਾਤਾ ॥: Otipoti sevak sangi raataa. Prabh pratipaale sevak sukhdaataa: Through and through, God is intermingled with His servant (sggs 101).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵਹਿ ਸੇ ਪਰਧਾਨਾ ॥: Satgur sevahi se pardhaanaa: Those who serve the True Guru are supreme and famous (sggs 1032).
  • ਧੰਨੁ ਸੇਵਕੁ ਸਫਲੁ ਓਹੁ ਆਇਆ ਜਿਨਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਖਸਮੁ ਪਛਾਤਾ ॥: Dhunn sevak safal ouhu aaeiaa jin Naanak khasam pashaataa: Blessed is that servant, and fruitful is his birth; O Nanak, he realizes his God (sggs 1000).
  • ਉਦਮੁ ਕਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਜਾਪਣਾ ਵਡਭਾਗੀ ਧਨੁ ਖਾਟਿ ॥: Uddam kar Hari jaapnaa badbhaagee dhan khaat: Make the effort, and chant God's Name. O very fortunate ones, earn this Wealth (sggs 48).
Such realized person, the "Vadbhaagee" (fortunate one), is not only cherished by God, but he becomes like God - he acquires God's qualities. In other words, he links in Union with Him by dissolving himself into the Self. He thus merges in Spiritual Silence, the last state! The Gurbani confirms it as follows:
  • ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਸੇਵਕੁ ਸੋ ਹਰਿ ਜੇਹਾ ॥ ਭੇਦੁ ਨ ਜਾਣਹੁ ਮਾਣਸ ਦੇਹਾ ॥: Hari kaa sevaku so hari jaehaa: God's servant becomes like God. Do not think that, because of his human body, he is different (sggs 1076).
  • ਜਿਨ ਸੇਵਿਆ ਜਿਨ ਸੇਵਿਆ ਮੇਰਾ ਹਰਿ ਜੀ ਤੇ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਰੂਪਿ ਸਮਾਸੀ ॥: Jin seviaa jin seviaa meraa Hari jee te Hari Hari roop samaasee: Those who serve, those who serve my Dear Lord, are absorbed into the Being of the Lord (sggs 11).
  • ਜੋ ਤੁਧੁ ਸੇਵਹਿ ਸੇ ਤੁਧ ਹੀ ਜੇਹੇ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਬਾਲ ਸਖਾਈ ਹੇ ॥: Jo tudh sevahi se tudh hee jehe nirbhayo baal sakhaaee he: Those who serve You, become just like You; O Fearless Lord, You are their best friend from infancy (sggs 1021).
  • ਤੁਧੁਨੋ ਸੇਵਹਿ ਸੇ ਤੁਝਹਿ ਸਮਾਵਹਿ ਤੂ ਆਪੇ ਮੇਲਿ ਮਿਲਾਇਦਾ ॥: Tudhno sevahi se tujhahi samaavahi tu aape mel milaaidaa: Those who serve You are immersed in You. You unite them in Union with Yourself (sggs 1060).
  • ਜੋ ਤੁਧੁ ਸੇਵਹਿ ਸੋ ਤੂਹੈ ਹੋਵਹਿ ਤੁਧੁ ਸੇਵਕ ਪੈਜ ਰਖਾਈ ॥: Jo tudhu sevahi so tuhai hovahi tudhu sevak paij rakhaaee: Those who serve You, become You. You preserve the honor of Your servants (sggs 758).
  • ਹਰਿ ਸੇਵੇ ਸੋ ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਲੋਗੁ ॥: Hari seve so Hari kaa logu: One who serves God is His person (sggs 1172).
  • ਤੁਧੁਨੋ ਸੇਵਹਿ ਜੋ ਤੁਧੁ ਭਾਵਹਿ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦੇ ਸਚਿ ਸਮਾਵਹਿ ॥: Tudhno sevahi jo tudh bhaavahi. Gur kai sabade sachi samaavahi: He alone serves You, who pleases You. Through the Gur-Shabad, he merges in the True Lord (sggs 1067).
  • ਸੁੰਨ ਸਮਾਧਿ ਗੁਫਾ ਤਹ ਆਸਨੁ ॥ ਕੇਵਲ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਪੂਰਨ ਤਹ ਬਾਸਨੁ ॥ ਭਗਤ ਸੰਗਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਗੋਸਟਿ ਕਰਤ ॥: Sunn samaadhi guphaa tah aasan. Keval brahm pooran tah baasan. Bhagat sang prabh gost karat: One (who has the Divine Treasure of the Naam) sits in the cave of Sunn Samaadhi (the state of complete Stillness, spiritual Silenece; the state devoid of Mayaic thoughts or wanderings, etc.); there the unique, perfect God dwells (in that Heart-Cave or Heart-Home). (The heart in which this Divine Treasure is awakened) God holds conversations with (those) devotees (i.e., those devotees Realize God) (sggs 894).

— T. Singh
www.gurbani.org